4. Reduce child mortality rates

DMI’s Media-Sanitation Campaign in Burkina Faso: Reducing Infant Mortality through the Radio, by Grégoire Bazie - Presentation by Kpénahi Traore

The United Nations’ 2012 report on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals states that there has been significant progress in the area of ​​child mortality, but that more needs to be done to honour the commitments made to younger generations. The mortality rate among children under the age of five in developing regions decreased by 35% between 1990 and 2010. The number of deaths decreased from 12 million in 1996, to 7.6 million in 2010. In Burkina Faso, progress was made over this period, although this is still insufficient.

Infant and child mortality decreased from 204.5% in 1993, to 142% in 2006. If this trend continues, estimates indicate that the level will reach 115.7%, instead of 62.3% by 2015. Given that this result must be achieved in the next two years, a number of multi-dimensional projects have been put into place, including those run by Média Développement International (DMI), which aims to save the lives of children under the age of five.

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Tree Planting by the Song Taaba Association - Presentation by Kpénahi Traoré - Photo Report by Warren Sare


Natural resources are becoming increasingly sparse and environmental degradation is taking place in different areas across Burkina Faso. Forested areas have been greatly reduced and the soil is being depleted, with desertification fast approaching.

The consumption of firewood and coal, at 0.91 kg and 0.13 kg per capita per day, is one of the main causes of the degradation of forests in Burkina Faso.

To combat deforestation and desertification, the Song Taaba Association – known as mooréin the local language, meaning "help each other" – organised a tree-planting event in Dassagho district, Ouagadougou.

Children and young adults joined forces to take a step forward in the establishment of a sustainable human environment, not only for the current generation but also for those of the future.

These pictures, taken by photographer Warren Sare in November 2011, depict the event.

The Mother-Child Hospital in Bingerville - Children of Africa Announces the Start of Work on 29 June, by Christian Dallet (Fraternité Matin)

Established on 9 December 1964, Fraternité Matin – known as Frat'Mat in Abidjan – is the oldest newspaper in Côte d'Ivoire. It is owned by the state of Côte d'Ivoire, as a result of the work of a public association, and represents the principal source of information on the activities of the government, of which it is generally supportive.

The Nouveau Réveil is the public-information outlet of the Democratic Party of Côte d'Ivoire (PDCI). Operating from 1960 to 2000, this was the party of former Head of State Henry Konan Bédié, who signed an alliance with the Union of Republicans (RDR) under current Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara.

The Children of Africa Foundation is an NGO founded in 1998 by Dominique Ouattara, wife of the Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara. Its mission is to provide assistance to vulnerable children in Africa. In addition to Côte d'Ivoire, the foundation operates in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Madagascar, Central African Republic and Senegal.

The NGO seeks to raise funds to build a mother-child hospital in Bingerville, an endeavour to provide modern health services and a considerable task. This facility will provide services to treat emerging diseases linked to cancer which affect women and children, and to treat the Buruli ulcer, which mainly affects children.

It is also expected to emphasise the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV-AIDS. Located 15 kilometres from Abidjan, Bingerville is the former capital of Côte d'Ivoire and during the post-election unrest of 2011, thousands of people fled Abidjan to settle in Bingerville.

The city already has an orphanage and a psychiatric hospital. The mother-child hospital will reinforce its status as a leading health-care centre in West Africa.

Fraternité Matin from 14 June 2013 e Nouveau Réveil from 2 July 2013


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"The Ace of Hearts," by Ali Djibo and Eyoum Nganguè - Presentation by Eyoum Nganguè



For a long time, the photo essay was a literary genre that told "light" stories through images to housewives under the age of fifty. With the advent of the TV series, the genre became temporarily obsolete, before coming back into fashion in magazines. The magazine Planète Jeunes has chosen to use this means of communication to convey messages in regions of the world (Africa, Caribbean and Indian Ocean), where reading is not a deeply rooted occupation. The story here is about the need for couples to undergo premarital tests to prevent mothers from giving birth to babies who die young due to a genetic disorder present in some regions of the southern hemisphere: sickle cell anemia.

Rahim arrives at the house of his best friend Rodrigue, who has decided to stay at home because he is ill, but refuses to say what he is suffering from. Rahim finally tells his friend what is wrong: Rodrigue has taken a blood test which shows that he has AS, meaning that he is a healthy carrier of sickle cell anemia. Rahim explains that this genetic disease is not serious and that millions of people with AS live for many years without problems! But Rodrigue is worried about his girlfriend, Dhalia. He doesn’t think it will be possible for their relationship to continue. He can no longer imagine marrying her and starting a family with her because their children would also have sickle cell anemia. Rahim decides to contact Dahlia and arranges for Rodrigue to go to a doctor with Dahlia, where the doctor can explain to him that he is wrong to try to isolate himself and to be afraid, because Dahlia has tested AA, which is negative. If they decided to have a family, the risk of transmitting the disease to their children would be minimal.

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Source: Planète Jeunes # 136



"The Invisible People of Kitokoville" by BADIK’Art (Valery Badika Nzila) – Congo

Badika Kitokoville_EN

The Invisible People of Kitokoville – In this page, Valery Badika Nzila (from the Republic of the Congo) describes the material poverty found in the slums of Kitokoville (an imaginary African capital city) and the impact of this on the health of the population, as well as the “internal” causes that hinder economic development in Africa and lead to an unfair distribution of wealth.

Infant Mortality in Uganda: Causes, Trends and Developments - by Sarah Ssewanyana and Stephen D. Younger - summary by Abdallah Katunzi


The report, published in 2005, examines child mortality in Uganda. It assesses not only the rate of child mortality in Uganda after 2000, when the Millennium Declaration was signed, but also analyzes the period of the seventies, thus giving a more detailed picture of the situation and a basis for reflection upon which to establish if the Uganda will be able to or less than halve infant mortality by the year 2015.
This research is a reference reading to understand the various factors (such as age and mother's education) that affect infant mortality.

download the abstract of "Infant Mortality in Uganda: Determinants, Trends, and the Millennium Development"

The Livelihoods of Families around the Waterfalls by Mouanda Baudouin

4.A Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the mortality rate of children under the age of five.


In his series of photos 'The Livelihoods of Families around the Waterfalls', Congolese photographer Baudouin Mouanda illustrates the difficulties faced by Congolese families in the pursuit of their livelihoods.

Entire families – children, parents and grandparents ¬– have to work together in order to get by. The very survival of these families is based upon this form of collective activity, which is pursued at the expense of the children's education, at the risk of injury and in spite of the dangers and health risks related to cracking open rocks and breathing in dust.

In its 2011 report, the UN testified to the great progress made globally in terms of reducing mortality among children under the age of five, with rates decreasing from 89 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 60 per 1,000 live births in 2009. The disparity between sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world is, however, increasing, with mortality among children under the age of five in this region remaining at 129 per 1,000 births, with half of these deaths caused by diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia. This 2010 reportage shows an entire family hard at work. Even very young children can be seen working on the excavation site, which presents a range of dangers and health hazards and as such directly contravenes MDG4, to "reduce child mortality". 

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"Butumoyi", by Mola Boyika - Democratic Republic of the Congo

Sotto-obiettivo 4.A Ridurre di due terzi, fra il 1990 e il 2015, la mortalità dei bambini al di sotto dei cinque anni.



Cartoonist Mola Boyika (from the Democratic Republic of the Congo) uses cruel humour to deal with the MDG "Reduce child mortality rates" and describe the extreme poverty faced by many African families. The author highlights the irresponsibility of many adults, whose sexual promiscuity produces large numbers of children, whose livelihoods and education they are then unable to ensure. The lack of food and space suffered by many “extended families” in Africa not only leads to difficult living conditions, but also dehumanises people, who actually come to celebrate the death of their relatives.

A new baby is born in Mr. Butumoyi’s household. One of his daughters, whose name he cannot even remember, announces that she is expecting a baby. Her brothers and sisters react badly to the news, knowing that it will mean even less food and space in the house. The story ends with the death of the baby due to neglect by her mother and the conditions of extreme poverty. But not everyone seems to be sad about the news...